Sports Illustrated Has Laid Off Their Entire Staff of Photographers

Sports Illustrated Has Laid Off Their Entire Staff of Photographers

In shocking news today for photojournalists everywhere, Sports Illustrated has announced that the remaining 6 photographers on staff have been laid off. Confirmed by Sports Illustrated's director of photography Brad Smith, SI has said the reasoning for the lay off comes from a financial decision that has forced some restructuring to be made. 

Alarming news for photojournalists, as Sport Illustrated was considered by many to be the pinnacle publication for sport photographers everywhere. While the layoff is shocking, Brad Smith told News Photographer magazine that "Our commitment to photography is as strong as ever, and we will continue to create the best original content possible." And while the photographers are no longer staffed by Sports Illustrated specifically, Smith has hinted towards them continuing the possibility of work with the magazine through freelance mediums. 

With these photographers no longer employed by Sports Illustrated, let's take a look to look through their work with admiration.

Robert Beck • Simon Bruty • Bill Frakes • David E. Klutho •

John W. McDonough • Al Tielemans

For a full read on what Brad Smith has to say, check out the official announcement from NPPA.

[via Resource & NPPA]

Zach Sutton's picture

Zach Sutton is an award-winning and internationally published commercial and headshot photographer based out of Los Angeles, CA. His work highlights environmental portraiture, blending landscapes and scenes with portrait photography. Zach writes for various publications on the topic of photography and retouching.

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It's another sad day in the photo world. The only reason I even care about SI is because of photographs.

doesn't mean the photographs or quality will suffer. There's plenty of magazines that don't have staffers. It may be a sad news for the photographers who got the news.. but not a sad day in the photo world. Just time to reinvent and come up with new ideas & ways to make things happen. Some of the photographers who got laid off may actually flourish as freelancer & make more money. As one door closes another one opens. Just my way of seeing things.

This is really too bad. Here's to hoping not bound by contract they go on to do great things.

A sad story, but with just six photographers remaining on staff, there was no way in hell that they could cover the NFL games during the regular season, much less the myriad of sports
I wonder what's going to happen to the Swimsuit Edition...

So, Freelance photographers get much less pay, and amateur photographers give their photos for free. and then shall the owners more money

This is really sad. I work for a small newspaper where I freelance for a few different papers. For about 10-15 papers they have only ONE staff photographer and the rest are like myself.

In other news, 600+ craigslist photographers with kit lenses apply to work as freelancers for Sports Illustrated, with no pay, citing they'll do it for photo credit. Stay tuned.

I wonder if they signed non-compete agreements.

No way! Most NCA are done in the front end of the contracts, not on the exit. TV people sign those all the time and they are usually 12-18 month NCA and the outgoing station includes the salary for that time period in the contract.

A non-compete will not be valid if employee is terminated without cause. Not having money to pay you is not cause.

I really felt sorry them, I do hope they will find new opportunities soon.

I am a photographer for a huge publication here in Dubai, everytime I read this kind of news, I fear that one day it will "influence" my company too.

Time Inc. was spun off from Time Warner in June has been trying to figure out how to offset big declines in its core print properties — especially on weekly magazines — with new digital initiatives.

In its most recent quarterly earnings reported, Time Inc. said advertising sales for the three months period ended Sept. 30 -- print and digital combined -- remained flat at $428 million vs. $430 million a year earlier. It reported $58 million in net loss for the first nine months of 2014.

The move to cut photographers little more than a week before the Super Bowl has been the real surprise.

let me just state for the record, if they are looking for a guy to shoot the swimsuit edition for free since they canned all of their guys i'm your guy. will work for food and sunscreen. really.

Like a lot of businesses, it is cheaper to bring people in for specific jobs, versus keep them on full time. Plus, if they are freelancers, the company doesn't have to provide benefits.